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Old 20-04-2013, 14:37   #1
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manual anchor windlass

I am interested in buying a manual windlass for my Gemini cat, I have mostly rope with 20ft of chain so would be using the drum side of the windlass and I cant quite wrap my mind around how you effectively operate the vertical handle while tailing the rode with the other hand. Ive seen a video of a Loffrans Royale in operation with all chain which does not need to be tailed but it seems to me that it would be better if the drum side could be self tailing also like a sheet winch, any idea if one of those blue rubber tailing thingys would fit the top of the drum? It would be great to use all chain with an electric windlass but the weight of the chain as well as extra batteries, heavy copper wire etc would be hard for me to accept.

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Old 20-04-2013, 17:44   #2
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Re: manual anchor windlass

I used to have a 32-foot cat with the manual Lofrans windlass. Use enough chain so that you can always be on the chain drum when breaking out the anchor. I cruised with 50 feet of chain, which proved adequate for everywhere from Maine to Bermuda, including the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. I would pull in the line bare handed in most situations, sometimes with an assist from the motor, putting the chain on the windlass only for the final break out of the anchor or the last 50 feet if it was really blowing. Used the rope drum once in awhile for some reason, but I would have someone tail the line. It is possible to crank with one hand and tail with the other, but you have to pause cranking in order to regrip the rope further down. With some practice you can get pretty good at it, but it is slow.
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Old 20-04-2013, 17:48   #3
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Re: manual anchor windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
I am interested in buying a manual windlass for my Gemini cat, I have mostly rope with 20ft of chain so would be using the drum side of the windlass and I cant quite wrap my mind around how you effectively operate the vertical handle while tailing the rode with the other hand. Ive seen a video of a Loffrans Royale in operation with all chain which does not need to be tailed but it seems to me that it would be better if the drum side could be self tailing also like a sheet winch, any idea if one of those blue rubber tailing thingys would fit the top of the drum? It would be great to use all chain with an electric windlass but the weight of the chain as well as extra batteries, heavy copper wire etc would be hard for me to accept.

Steve.
You can use a mixed rode with a vertical windlass. That's what my boat came with. So long as the rope-to-chain splice (no shackles) is smooth, it feeds. Easy.

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Old 20-04-2013, 17:53   #4
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Re: manual anchor windlass

when i use the rope pulley i wrap the warp around twice so its easy to maintain pressure holding it with one hand and cranking with the other
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Old 21-04-2013, 10:36   #5
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Re: manual anchor windlass

Yes, it would be easy to have someone else tail the rope but not always possible, there are a lot of vertical shaft electric windlasses that run the rope and chain through the chain gypsy but I would really prefer a manual windlass and they are all the same configuration with a separate drum for the rope. If 50ft of chain would suffice I could live with the weight I guess. Tailing on the rope drum would be no problem on an electric windlass as your hands are free with a foot switch.

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Old 21-04-2013, 10:45   #6
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Re: manual anchor windlass

Not sure where you plan on cruising, but 50 feet of chain backed up by line is fine for the East Coast down through the Bahamas. Frankly, for boats 30 feet and under I think you can get away with no windlass and less chain.
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Old 21-04-2013, 11:01   #7
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Re: manual anchor windlass

No windlass and 20ft of chain is what I currently have, cats tend to have a lot of windage and as I get older a windlass becomes desirable but im really trying to avoid going electric, to be honest ive considered buying a big assed self tailing sheet winch, you would have to kneel over it and crank with both hands but it would tail itself into the anchor well, then you would pull the last 20ft of chain in by hand.

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Old 22-04-2013, 11:40   #8
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Re: manual anchor windlass

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to be honest ive considered buying a big assed self tailing sheet winch, you would have to kneel over it and crank with both hands but it would tail itself into the anchor well, then you would pull the last 20ft of chain in by hand.
That can work. I used to have a 37-foot wooden boat that displaced around 22,000 lb., and we used a 45 lb. CQR anchor on double braid nylon with 6 feet of chain. Anchored everywhere from New Brunswick to Florida and back with no problems. The cockpit featured a centrally mounted three-speed self-tailing winch that was much more powerful than any windlass I've ever had. If needed, I could lead the line back to there and drag the boat through the mud if I needed to.

However, the time when you most need the windlass is for breaking the anchor out of the mud, so the final 20 feet being chain will make that process more difficult. You will need some method of fastening off the chain very short and tight, and then you can motor forward or back (slowly) to break the anchor free.
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Old 22-04-2013, 11:54   #9
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Re: manual anchor windlass

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Not sure where you plan on cruising, but 50 feet of chain backed up by line is fine for the East Coast down through the Bahamas. Frankly, for boats 30 feet and under I think you can get away with no windlass and less chain.

That's what the great majority of 30' foots -- very common size here in central W. Florida have -- except for the people who have bought "anchor kits" at West Marine and have ended up with 6' of chain and a too-small Danforth ...

I would say that some places Floridians often go -- the Keys and the Bahamas -- might warrant more chain. If your rode drapes over coral it will be cut, and there's a lot of trash on the bottom. One guy in our club dived his anchor and found it tangled with five others. Another was caught on a bicycle!
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:00   #10
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Re: manual anchor windlass

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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
No windlass and 20ft of chain is what I currently have, cats tend to have a lot of windage and as I get older a windlass becomes desirable but im really trying to avoid going electric, ................
Why would you avoid electric?

My previously owned boat came with a high quality manual windlass but after just a few times using it, I swapped it out for an electric windlass. Just like with saws, drills, even screwdrivers, I see no good reason to do things the hard way when there's an easier way that produces the same results.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:24   #11
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Re: manual anchor windlass

I only have a very basic electrical system consisting of a group 27 house and a group 24 starting batteries charged by an outboard. Its enough as long as I show restraint. I am a boatbuilder and witness all the time where boatowners keep adding "must have" amp eating electrical items which pretty soon leads to bigger battery banks and bigger charging needs which means more weight which leads to raising the waterline, more wetted surface, poor performance. We call it the design spiral and I want it going in the other direction if anything. So, since I am not cruising in tropical, waters with coral heads I want to stick with mainly rope rode with a decent length of 1/4" HT chain and replacing one of the large danforths with a FX23 Fortress, again, a reduction of weight which is important to me, a manual winch will save weight in the long run also,(no motor, heavy copper cable and all the other crap) Im willing to exert a little effort to save weight. At this point I have decided to install a Lewmar #44 3 speed sheet winch which has been in my pile of boat stuff for years,with one of those blue wincher things to make it somewhat self tailing ( I hope) with an Antal 10" double handed handle, it may or may not be adequate but its not costing me anything to give it a try.

Steve.

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Old 05-05-2013, 18:03   #12
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Re: manual anchor windlass

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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
I only have a very basic electrical system consisting of a group 27 house and a group 24 starting batteries charged by an outboard. Its enough as long as I show restraint. I am a boatbuilder and witness all the time where boatowners keep adding "must have" amp eating electrical items which pretty soon leads to bigger battery banks and bigger charging needs which means more weight which leads to raising the waterline, more wetted surface, poor performance. We call it the design spiral and I want it going in the other direction if anything. So, since I am not cruising in tropical, waters with coral heads I want to stick with mainly rope rode with a decent length of 1/4" HT chain and replacing one of the large danforths with a FX23 Fortress, again, a reduction of weight which is important to me, a manual winch will save weight in the long run also,(no motor, heavy copper cable and all the other crap) Im willing to exert a little effort to save weight. At this point I have decided to install a Lewmar #44 3 speed sheet winch which has been in my pile of boat stuff for years,with one of those blue wincher things to make it somewhat self tailing ( I hope) with an Antal 10" double handed handle, it may or may not be adequate but its not costing me anything to give it a try.

Steve.

Steve.
I'm with you, Steve. I'm looking for a good manual anchor winch for chain. I think I'll start a separate post/question.
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